SmartGate opens to more nationalities

Canadian and Irish ePassports can now be used at SmartGate

Canadian and Irish ePassport holders will be able to use SmartGate automated border processing as part of an expanded trial at all Australian international airports.

SmartGate opens to more nationalitiesThe Australian Customs and Border Protection Service’s SmartGate technology is now available to eight nationalities, and eligibility trials are due to begin soon for ePassport holders from China, the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region and Japan.

SmartGate technology is currently available as a permanent arrangement to e-Passport holders from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore, while a trial for Swiss e-Passport holders was still under way.

Airport processing trial expanded

The deployment of eGate technology is part of $158 million in additional funding for Immigration and Border Protection to boost counter-terrorism capacity on Australian borders.

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, said “”The expansion in SmartGate eligibility follows the Government’s announcement in September that next generation automated departures eGates would also be rolled out at each of Australia’s eight major international airports from mid-2015.

“As traffic at our international airports continues to grow, it will be become increasingly important to provide a seamless, low-touch experience to ensure the Australian economy reaps the benefit of growing travel and trade across the Asia-Pacific,” he said.

“At the same time, we need to secure our borders against individuals who may pose a threat to the Australian community.”

The Minister said work was also continuing to further extend the range of nationalities to include Malaysian, Indian and French ePassport holders.

How it works

SmartGate is a simple, two-step process involving a kiosk and a gate.

Step 1: the kiosk, checks if a passenger is eligible to self-process

  • The passenger places their ePassport into the reader and answers declarations using the touch screen
  • The kiosk issues a SmartGate ticket, which is needed for step 2.

Step 2: the gate, performs the identity check and clearance

  • The passenger inserts the SmartGate ticket
  • The eGate compares the face of the passenger to their ePassport photo
  • If authorisation is given, the passenger takes again the SmartGate ticket and when the gates open, proceeds to the baggage hall
  • The passenger collect their luggage and goes to the Customs and Border Protection check-point
  • They hand in the SmartGate ticket and Incoming Passenger Card

Automated Border Control

The use of automated border control eGates is probably the fastest growing sector in self-service in the airline industry.

There are as always a number of variations of the overall principle and different countries have different names for the process. And different countries have different biometric checks. And of course different terminology.

For example:

 United States  APC – Automated Passport Control
 United Kingdom  automatic ePassport gates
 Australia  SmartGate

In general, they are the same. So for APC, also read ABC and SmartGate.